Should Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s abortion law take effect, the state’s economy will suffer a major blow. Following last week’s news that Reed Morano and Kristen Wiig had yanked productions from Georgia in protest of the bill signed by Kemp earlier this month, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos has assured the state that his company will follow suit should the law go into effect. As reported by The Wrap, Netflix currently has a few titles filming in Georgia, but the chief content officer said the company is ready to “rethink” its presence in the state and join forces with the ACLU to fight the anti-abortion law if necessary:
We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there — while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.
The bill signed by Kemp earlier this month seeks to make it illegal to obtain an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically as early as six or seven weeks. Many women are not aware of their pregnancies until six weeks or later. Needless to say, should the bill become law, those women would be stripped of the right to choose between terminating or continuing their pregnancies. Of course, this bill is just one of many ongoing attempts to outlaw abortion in several states, but Georgia has something those other states—Missouri and Alabama, for instance—don’t: Generous tax incentives for film and television productions. Should Georgia’s anti-abortion bill become law, Sarandos appears willing to take Netflix’s productions elsewhere, which would result in a loss of jobs and a blow to the local economy. Sarandos’ declaration makes Netflix the first studio to protest the anti-abortion bill; Netflix joins Reed Morano and Kristen Wiig, who recently decided to remove their respective productions from the state in protest.
While Netflix will continue to film in Georgia for the time being, the company’s threat to exit the state is hopefully the first of many.